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Senior’s Butterfly Garden part of Seneca Park Zoo Project

By on September 30, 2015
Gardens at Town Center 2:resize

Summer has ended and the monarch butterflies are on their way south to Mexico, yet the residents at the Gardens at Town Center are anticipating a rejuvenated visit by the them next spring.

The Gardens at Town Center, constructed by Home Leasing LLC, is located in Greece (off of Latta and Long Pond Road). This affordable, independent senior housing community partnered with the Seneca Park Zoo’s Butterfly Beltway Project on August 7, 2015 to plant a butterfly Garden and became a “rest stop” on the migrating path of the Monarchs.

The garden was planted on the north side of the building around the flag pole. The garden measures approximately 100 square feet and features 11 different species of plants.

Tim Fowler, Seneca Park Zoo’s outreach coordinator, conducted a presentation about the Monarch migration and the large-scale conservation effort to create “rest stops” for butterflies through designated gardens across the region. Fowler said the selection of plants is highly important. Although the plants attract any type of pollinator (including bees and hummingbirds), they were primarily chosen to attract butterflies. Because the plants have to provide an ample supply of nectar for numerous butterflies over an extended season, blooming patterns have to alter among the species of plants chosen.  These plants will provide shelter along with key nutrients to help butterfly development from an egg to an adult. Fun fact – the Monarch is a key indicator of how healthy our environment is.

The Butterfly Release took place around the flag pole as residents held hands to create “launching pads” to release five Monarch Butterflies. Children and adults alike were able to take part in the release, watching as the butterflies flitter and float up to the sunny sky. The celebration concluded with butterfly cupcakes and a large cake created by resident Elizabeth Bartello, her daughter-in-law Carla, and granddaughter Sarah Rae.

The Seneca Park Zoo’s Butterfly Beltway Project has been engaging and inspiring members of the community in butterfly conservation since 2002. To date more than 8,000 square-feet of habitat have been created and restored.

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